James Primosch RIP

Sorry to hear of the passing of composer James Primosch. His memorable “Contraption” is played to hilt by Ryan MacEvoy McCullough.

Primosch was an occasional DTM reader and offered a few helpful suggestions over the years. When I finally heard some of his music, I was impressed enough to add “Contraption” to the marathon overview Write it All Down.

From an email exchange:

Iverson: “I particularly enjoyed your fast music, It seems to me that many modern composers can’t write fast and danceable music, but “A Gracious Dance” “Gigue” and “Contraption” [all from the set Pure Contraption, Absolute Gift] were great! If my own language was closer to this I’d def be analyzing “Contraption” to see how you got those sounds, that’s a wonderful 21st century novelty rag.”

Primosch: “Yeah, the fast music thing can be a problem. I remember in a lesson with George Crumb 40 years ago when he said how hard it was to write fast music that didn’t sound like it was stealing from The Rite of Spring. The piece he was working on at the time, his four-hand piano piece, does have some Sacre-esque moments.”